Press and Reviews

BBC Focus Magazine Feb 07

Article on Alexander's Tomb in BBC Focus Magazine (Feb 07)

A 6-page article on Alexander's tomb appeared in the February 2007 edition of BBC Focus magazine. It was written by Robert Matthews, visiting Reader in Science at Aston University. The BBC Focus website at gave a two sentence summary: “Alexander the Great conquered the ancient world, but the whereabouts of his body remains unknown. A new theory, however, suggests that it might have been under our noses all this time.”

The cover of the magazine posed the question, “Alexander’s tomb found?” This was a reference to Andrew Chugg’s theory that the Alexandrians may have used Alexander’s body in creating their new tomb of St Mark, when the worship of Alexander was made illegal by the Emperor Theodosius in AD391. The article points out that the body, said to be St Mark, was taken to Venice in AD828 and that it currently lies in the Basilica di San Marco in that city, hence the comment that Alexander’s body may have been beneath our noses.

The article was balanced and included short interviews with (and other quotes from) both Andrew Chugg and Nicholas Saunders. See the accompanying scan for the mini-interviews from the article. It also quoted Jean-Yves Empereur, the head of the CEA in Alexandria, on the matter of the location of the famous tomb in Alexandria.

The article contained the first publication in print of Andrew Chugg’s recent suggestion that a visual inspection of the remains in the Basilica di San Marco may suffice to resolve the question of their identity, since Alexander is said to have suffered distinctive wounds that damaged his skeleton (lower leg and chest).

The article concluded that until the Catholic Church grants permission to inspect the bones “the Venice Connection must remain only a theory. But it is just possible that today thousands of visitors to Venice pass within metres of the remains of one of the greatest figures of the ancient world.” See our page on testing St Mark for more details of this matter.